An organized child's play roomParents with kids can all relate, even if you are a functional minimalist like me, that it’s nearly impossible to stop family and friends from over buying all those small adorable toys and clothing pieces for your kids. Many studies show children with fewer distractions, or toys in this case, play longer and have more focused time in their play room than children with a plethora of toys to choose from. We are learning that multitasking isn’t as efficient as we once thought so giving children too many options only leads them to less concentrated focus. The long term effects of excess toys and distractions could stunt their potential for future success. Without being able to focus on one task at a time, these areas could be lacking later in their life. As an example let’s look at time management, studying for an exam, and meeting deadlines depend mainly on how organized a person is and how focused they can been when needed. If habits are created over time don’t you want to start your kids off on the right foot?

My suggestion to parents with growing stock piles of toys is to go through them every two to three months and donate the gently used items so that others may enjoy them. More importantly, let your friends and family know that you are working towards a minimalist lifestyle to ensure a successful future for your children and family. Hopefully they will respect those wishes and purchase less; because when you have less, you are opening up space for your kids to learn a couple of very important skills. Those skills are focusing on specific tasks until complete and giving them a space to cultivate their creativity not their anxiety! Oh, and did I mention, less means clean up time is going to be that much easier too!

I work with so many clients that say these exact words “my parents didn’t teach me how to be organized.” Isn’t it funny that if we on teach our children to put their toys away regularly it can help them 20 years down the road in all aspects of their life. The simple task of putting their toys in a bin can rocket them towards success years later.

Quick Tips
1. Let people know you are working towards a minimalist lifestyle
2. Sort through the toys every 2-3 months and purge
3. Teach your children the importance of a tidy space… knowing this will help in their future success

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer